The night before leaving Florida for home, under that beautiful moon, and with beers and stogies in hand, we made an executive decision: forego I-75 and instead, head north-west to Nashville, up to Louisville, and over to Cincinnatti. Reason being: Superstorm Jonas was coming, and driving the mountains of TN and KY can be hairy on one’s best day.
January 21, we packed up and left Fort Lauderdale early, hopped on the turnpike and headed points north. We made it to Georgia, no sweat. The next morning, before getting on the road, we watched the weather on our hotel TV. No doubt we were gonna get wet. Most of that day was rain-free and we made good time, but by early afternoon Jonas was in our sights, and we were heading right for it.
It started to rain around 3 p.m. An hour after that, it was ugly.
We drove as far as we could, pulled off around 7 p.m. The following morning, we took off in the pouring rain, hoping against hope to make it as far as the KY/OH border, but as we drove north, the temp started to drop: 47 degrees F., then 45, 42, 38, 36…
At 34 degrees F., it started to snow.
By 11 a.m.–just outside Nashville–we were looking for a place to pull over. Accidents everywhere, cars and trucks sliding off ramps, overturned semis, traffic jams at every turn…
Through luck and some really gutsy driving, we managed to steer clear of crazy jams, made it up and over one open exit ramp without sliding down or off, and found a decent hotel that (amazingly) still had a couple of open rooms available. We were stuck in Nashville for two days, but it could have been worse–we could have taken that I-75 route:
At least 3,000 people were stranded on the highway, WLKY.com reported. The traffic backup – from mile marker 76 to mile marker 41 – is 35 miles long…
Like I said, coulda been worse.
We were back on the road the morning of January 24, drove straight through from Nashville to home. A long day, but a beautiful ride back to Michigan. Hope you enjoy it.
After almost half a month and 4000 miles on the road, it was good to be close to home again, under a familiar sky. . .
. . .but man, it was worth the trip.